Mael Balac 

I recently joined EDI Global as a Senior Research Officer / Analyst after five years spent in a development consulting firm in India. During that time, I led the design of mixed methods research frameworks, and applied primary research and evaluation techniques in various sectors including international trade, agriculture, WASH, and private sector development. Using my background in development economics from the Centre for Studies and Research on International Development (CERDI, France), I was particularly involved in the development of analytical approaches and methodologies and the generation of insights using complex quantitative analysis.

EDI Global’s work is closely related to my interests in survey methodology, data collection, and international development research. In particular, I was drawn by its commitment to high quality standards and ethical research. One of the things I have learned from my previous experience is that data analysis is only as good as the data on which it rests. Statistical analysis is always based on assumptions, and the quality of the data is often one of them.

The fact that EDI Global has its own East African headquarter has also been a factor of interest to me. Having a presence in East Africa brings a solid understanding of the local reality, which is critical both at the design and analytical stages. It helps designing adequate questionnaires, and ensuring that the interpretations are grounded on the local context.

This commitment to data quality and ethical research was confirmed during my first two weeks at EDI Global, during which I was taken through the quality control procedures that are implemented throughout the project cycle. Since then, I have been implementing them and they have proved to be very valuable. I also had the chance to travel to Tanzania as part of my first assignment, which allowed me to meet our local staff. I was impressed by their skills and expertise in data collection. This makes me glad to be part of the research team, and I am looking forward to producing reliable evidence to inform policy making.